VIPs get glimpse of Waterfront

AS Ipswich's waterfront skyline edges ever closer to the clouds, borough chiefs have enjoyed a tour of the rapidly expanding development. Dozens of councillors were guided around the University Campus Suffolk (UCS) building, Regatta Quay and The Mill to assess first-hand the changing face of the town's docks.

AS Ipswich's waterfront skyline edges ever closer to the clouds, borough chiefs have enjoyed a tour of the rapidly expanding development.

Dozens of councillors were guided around the University Campus Suffolk (UCS) building, Regatta Quay and The Mill to assess first-hand the changing face of the town's docks.

Each of the trio of structures have sprung from the ground in recent months, as the process of regenerating the waterfront gathers pace.

The ultra-modern, curved glass UCS building is entering its final stages of construction, with students set to move in when the university's second year begins in September.

Meanwhile, The Mill is shooting skywards - at a rate of a floor every ten days - and will eventually boast the town's highest building at a towering 23 storeys tall.

And at Regatta Quay, the first of the 30 plush flats are beginning to sell.

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Ipswich council leader Liz Harsant, one of those to enjoy the tour, stressed the importance of the regenerated docks to the town.

“This is more than important for Ipswich,” she said.

“I am so impressed and it seems to move apace every day. The change is fantastic and you wonder why this wasn't done before.

“This regeneration is fantastic, and with the university building nearly ready, it's a really exciting time.”

The Mill will contain 330 flats, 52 affordable units, an 81-bedroom hotel, the 25,000 sq ft DanceEast dance studio and 35,000 sq ft of commercial space.

It will contain two restaurants and four cafes and have commercial space on the ground and first floors.

Phase one of the development is under way and phase two, which will see the conversion of buildings retained on the 2.5 acre Cranfields Mill site, is expected to begin within the next three to four months.

Phase one is expected to be completed by August 2009, with the topping out ceremony for the tower to be held this August.

Are you in favour of the changing shape of Ipswich or is the town centre being overdeveloped? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

IPSWICH'S trendy waterfront will soon be a bustling hub of night time activity with around 20 restaurants, cafés and bars in the pipeline.

A handful of restaurants and bars already adorn the docks, including the Bistro on the Quay and the Isaac Lord bar.

However, many more are on the cards, with up to eight new restaurants, seven cafés and four bars.